How Congress delegates authority to Administrative Agencies and how Administrative
Agencies use that authority to create regulations and policies. Discuss which court would
have jurisdiction over an administrative agency matter (federal or state) and why?
In 1947, Congress adopted the Administrative Procedures Act, which governs the process by
which administrative agencies create and enact laws. The Act was implemented to ensure that
the public had adequate notice of proposed laws, that there is an opportunity to comment on
proposed laws, and that there are clear standards for agency rulemaking (Sargentich, 1989) . The
Act also specifies when courts may review and nullify administrative agency rules. However, the
Act is most in relation to Federal Administrative Agencies. For state administrative agencies,
there is a procedure that is similar to the one that is provided for the Federal agencies.
Judicial review of agency actions is a fixture of the modern administrative state. Federal courts
have on a regular basis review the decisions and work of federal agencies, and state courts have
done the same with the state agencies (Woolhandler & Collins, 1999) . The scope of judicial
review depends on the respective powers that have been given to the courts and agencies within
each system, subject to constitutional limits. However, considering the federal scheme of
government, there is a possibility that federal courts can sit in review of state administrative
actions and substitute their own judicial review for the review that would otherwise take place in
the state courts. In cases where prerequisites of federal jurisdiction are present at the point of
judicial involvement, them challenges to state agency action, whether based on federal or state
law, could theoretically take place in either system. Based on the theoretical argument that both
federal and state courts can adjudicate over administrative agencies, the United States Supreme
Court in the case of Burford v. Sun Oil Company 319 U.S. 315 (1943), attempted to work out
principles of administrative abstention and related doctrines to curtail federal court review of
state agency action, despite federal question or diversity jurisdiction having been properly
Sargentich, T. O. (1989). The Jurisdiction of Federal Courts in Adminstratuve Cases:
Developments. Adminstrative Law Review, 41(2)201-251.
Woolhandler, A., & Collins, M. G. (1999). Judicial Federalism and the Administrative States.
California Law Review, 87(3)616-701.